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Published December 20, 2009 | Submitted + Published
Journal Article Open

The Local Hosts of Type Ia Supernovae


We use multi-wavelength, matched aperture, integrated photometry from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and the RC3 to estimate the physical properties of 166 nearby galaxies hosting 168 well-observed Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). The ultraviolet (UV) imaging of local SN Ia hosts from GALEX allows a direct comparison with higher-redshift hosts measured at optical wavelengths that correspond to the rest-frame UV. Our data corroborate well-known features that have been seen in other SN Ia samples. Specifically, hosts with active star formation produce brighter and slower SNe Ia on average, and hosts with luminosity-weighted ages older than 1 Gyr produce on average more faint, fast, and fewer bright, slow SNe Ia than younger hosts. New results include that in our sample, the faintest and fastest SNe Ia occur only in galaxies exceeding a stellar mass threshold of ~10^(10) M☉, leading us to conclude that their progenitors must arise in populations that are older and/or more metal rich than the general SN Ia population. A low host extinction subsample hints at a residual trend in peak luminosity with host age, after correcting for light-curve shape, giving the appearance that older hosts produce less-extincted SNe Ia on average. This has implications for cosmological fitting of SNe Ia, and suggests that host age could be useful as a parameter in the fitting. Converting host mass to metallicity and computing ^(56)Ni mass from the supernova light curves, we find that our local sample is consistent with a model that predicts a shallow trend between stellar metallicity and the ^(56)Ni mass that powers the explosion, but we cannot rule out the absence of a trend. We measure a correlation between ^(56)Ni mass and host age in the local universe that is shallower and not as significant as that seen at higher redshifts. The details of the age-^(56)Ni mass correlations at low and higher redshift imply a luminosity-weighted age threshold of ~3 Gyr for SN Ia hosts, above which they are less likely to produce SNe Ia with ^(56)Ni masses above ~0.5 M☉.

Additional Information

© 2009 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2009 July 13; accepted 2009 November 4; published 2009 December 4. J.N. would like to thank Fillipo Mannucci, Dan Maoz, Massimo Della Valle, and Patrizia Braschi, the organizers of the 2008 May SN Ia rates conference in Florence, Italy where a preliminary version of this work was presented and discussed. We acknowledge the useful comments by the anonymous referee. GALEX (Galaxy Evolution Explorer) is a NASA Small Explorer, launched in 2003 April. We gratefully acknowledge NASA's support for construction, operation, and science analysis for the GALEX mission, developed in cooperation with the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales of France and the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. This research has made use of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED), which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Funding for the SDSS and SDSS-II has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Japanese Monbukagakusho, the Max Planck Society, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The SDSS Web Site is http://www.sdss.org/. The SDSS is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions. The Participating Institutions are the American Museum of Natural History, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, University of Basel, University of Cambridge, Case Western Reserve University, University of Chicago, Drexel University, Fermilab, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japan Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, the Korean Scientist Group, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (LAMOST), Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the United States Naval Observatory, and the University of Washington.

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Published - Neill_2009_ApJ_707_1449.pdf

Submitted - 0911.0690.pdf


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